Time Use, Unemployment, and Well-Being: An Empirical Analysis Using British Time-Use Data

38 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2019

See all articles by Thi Truong An Hoang

Thi Truong An Hoang

Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

Andreas Knabe

Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg - Institute of Economics and Business Administration; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

We use nationally representative data from the UK Time-Use Survey 2014/2015 to investigate how a person’s employment status is related to time use and cognitive and affective dimensions of subjective well-being. We find that unemployed persons report substantially lower levels of life satisfaction than employed persons. When looking at specific types of activities, the unemployed enjoy most of the activities they engage in less than the employed. However, the employed consider working to be one of the least enjoyable activities. They also spend a large share of their time at work and with work-related activities, while the unemployed spend more time on leisure and more enjoyable activities instead. When looking at duration-weighted average affective well-being over the entire waking time of the day, our results suggest that the benefit of having to spend less time at work outweighs the negative emotional effect of unemployment during leisure episodes, such that the unemployed experience, on average, more enjoyment during the day than the employed.

Keywords: unemployment, happiness, affective well-being, time use, Day Reconstruction Method

JEL Classification: I310, D910, J600, J220

Suggested Citation

Hoang, Thi Truong An and Knabe, Andreas, Time Use, Unemployment, and Well-Being: An Empirical Analysis Using British Time-Use Data (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7581. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3368525

Thi Truong An Hoang (Contact Author)

Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg ( email )

Universitätspl. 2
PSF 4120
Magdeburg, D-39106
Germany

Andreas Knabe

Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg - Institute of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Universitaetsplatz 2
Magdeburg, 39016
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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